Stretch Break Part 1 – Chest and Upper Back

Step 1. Active Isolated Stretching Technique for the Chest

This exercise stretches the chest muscles (pectoralis major and minor). Tight pectoral muscles roll the shoulders forward and rotate the arms inward. Other muscles are involved with this pattern and they’ll get some attention as well.

Muscle anatomy images from 3D4 Medical’s Essential Anatomy App


Step 2. Wall Angel

This exercise can help to retrain shoulder mobility and flexibility, restore upper body muscle balance, and improve posture. Tightness in the chest causes the opposing muscle group in the upper back to weaken. They become stretched but also strained because these muscles are fighting the forward pull of the chest. It’s like a tug-of-war. The Wall Angel exercise gives the upper back muscles some much need stimulation.


Releasing the chest and strengthening the upper back muscles is key to relieving discomfort and restoring a relaxed posture.


Next up – Part 2: Neck and Shoulder (coming soon)

Related post: Short Stretch Breaks at Work

Published by Mitchell Diaz, LMT

I'm a licensed massage therapist practicing in South Miami, FL.

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